The river Severn is managed as a navigation from Gladder Brook, upstream of Stourport, down to Gloucester where it connects to the Gloucester and Sharpness Ship Canal. It also connects to the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal at Stourport, the Droitwich Barge Canal at Hawford, the Warwickshire Avon at Tewkesbury and to the Worcestershire and Birmingham Canal at Worcester. There is a right of navigation upstream of Gladder Brook as far as Pool Quay, Welshpool,and the former Severn Navigation Restoration Trust worked for many years to encourage improvement for navigation of this part of the river. The Trust's final chairman has an article covering the Trust's work.
The river below Gloucester is navigable, but tidal. The Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal (under restoration) connects to the (now closed) Maismore Channel of the river at Over on the outskirts of Gloucester. The former Coombe Hill Canal (closed and now a nature reserve) connected to the river near Apperley. The navigable river (from Gladder Brook to the Gloucester and Sharpness Ship Canal) is 42.6 miles (67.6 km) long and has 5 locks.
The maximum boat size that can navigate the river (between Gladder Brook and Gloucester) is:
length: 93' 6" (28.49 metres) - Bevere Lock
beam: 20' 0" (6.1 metres) - Worcester Bridge
height: 20' 3" (6.2 metres) - Worcester Bridge (at summer level - river levels can fluctuate)
draught: 6' 1" (1.85 metres) - cill of Lincomb Lock
The locks on the Severn are operated by lockkeepers (restricted hours).
Avon & Wiltshire - Tidal navigation that is the responsibility of the Bristol Haven Concervancy, downstream of the second Severn crossing.
Gloucestershire & Herefordshire - from Mythe Bridge to a point on the tidal navigation which is the seaward extent of responsibility of the Gloucester Harbour Trustees, downstream of the Second Severn Crossing.
Birmingham, Black Country & Worcestershire - upstream of Mythe Bridge to limit of Canal & River Trust's navigation authority.
Shrewsbury, District & North Wales - upstream of Canal & River Trust's navigation authority.
Canal & River Trust
First Floor North
500 Elder Gate
Milton Keynes, MK9 1BB
T: 0303 040 4040
Canal & River Trust website